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Built in 1926 to replace former homes for displaced children in Unalaska and Nome which were showing their age and overpopulated.
The Spanish Flu pandemic after World War I left many more children as orphans than was normal, especially in the Aboriginal population.
All houses were run by the United Methodist Church.
Seward was chosen because, at the time, it was the largest port and transportation hub in Alaska.
The house was named after a Methodist minister who worked in the northeastern USA during the colonial days.
Most of the kids brought to the house were from either the Seward Peninsula or the Aleutian Islands. Many of them became famous including Benny Benson who in 1926 won the contest to design the Alaskan Territorial flag which is still used as the Alaskan State flag today, Ephraim Kalmakoff who at 14 won the Mt Marathon Race and still holds the record for the youngest winner ever and Peter Gould who went onto to the Alaskan Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) and became it’s President.
The campus consisted of 3 main buildings – including a boys and a girls dormitory – as well as a number of smaller buildings.
In World War II the US Army moved the orphans and painted the buildings in camouflage creating the Fort Raymond Army Base.
When the war ended the government gave the site back to the church but some changes were made. The kids now attended public school in the town and were served government supplied food rather than growing their own on the farm.
The Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 severely damaged the site – the boy’s dorm had to be demolished afterwards – that the church abandoned the site and built a new facility in Anchorage.
In 1966 ownership was passed to the City of Seward who sold it to a number of private firms over time – none of which did much of anything – until 2014 when ownership was passed to a non-profit called Friends of the Jesse Lee Home. They were to remove all the hazardous materials and convert it into a modern high school.
In 2015 – with little work done and lots of money spent as well as a lack of accountancy – the city removed it’s grants.
In 2019 – with still little work done – the city declared the conditions of ownership were not met and took the property back.
In 2020 City Council voted to demolish all remaining buildings and replace them with a park.
The structures were demolished in 2020-21.
Many reports indicate that children were killed in the earthquake – especially in the badly damaged boys dorm – and that is the source of the paranormal activity.
Reported activity includes:
Apparitions of children playing (this may time slips pre-1964 when children would be playing on the grounds); shadow figures usually moving across the broken windows of the buildings when they stood; phantom sounds of children laughing; disembodied voices; phantom sounds of children jumping rope or bouncing balls; touches and pulls by little hands around the waist level by unseen entities; empathic feelings of anxiety and sadness; phantom sounds of little children walking and running and feelings of being watched.
This facility was built in 1940 as a care facility for the elderly, mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Despite the name is brackets above – and what many people believe – this facility was never known as the Sheboygan County Insane Asylum.
The name was actually used by another institution that was once inside of Sheboygan that was torn down in 1960. It was located where N 23rd Street is between Kohler Memorial Drive and Superior Avenue. Much of it used to be where the Pay n Save is now.
This asylum was opened in 1880 to replace the original asylum built – and long since demolished – in the now ghost town of Winooski.
Unlike it’s predecessors this facility is still standing; albeit on private property.
From 1944 to 1945 the US Military took over the property, renamed it Camp Sheboygan, and moved German and Italian POW’s that were considered too high of a security risk to hold in the United Kingdom. They were used to work the fields of the facility.
In 1969 the hospital was used for addiction treatment as well as the mentally ill.
In 1978 it switched over to the developmentally disabled and patients with chronic illnesses although this was beginning to change again when the facility closed in 2002.
This site is private property. Please do not enter it unless you are part of a paid ghost tour.
There are numerous stories of people being charged for trespassing after illegally entering it.
The reports of paranormal activity date back to when the facility was still open.
The following activity has been reported here:
Shadow figures (one far larger than any human form was photographed in the underground tunnel system; phantom sound of a young girl humming; physical attacks on the living; disembodied voices; phantom screams and whispers; unexplained noises including sudden loud bangs; doors opening and slamming on their own; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities with hair pulling being the most common; phantom footsteps; objects moving on their own and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.
This hotel opened in 1898 as brothel, bar and casino. It was part of the new Deadwood after the great fire of 1879 and the end of the Gold Rush.
It was built in the middle of the Red Light District at the time. To say some truly terrifying and horrible things happened inside these doors would be the understatement of the century; 20th century at least.
While the Prohibition put the bar underground for a while the prostitution business never stopped and became the major income for the hotel. Even in the 1940’s during the second world war when the US Government ordered all brothels shut down the Fairmont stayed operational.
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the brothel business was shut down ending the last cash flow to the hotel. The double blow of the Interstate Highway system – which bypassed the town and finished primary rail travel – all but killed the town’s economy.
The first floor restaurant and bar stayed in business but the second and third floors were closed up and abandoned.
Thankfully the town was given a National Historic Landmark designation and the new owner obtained a loan from the National Park Service. This saved all of the 19th century buildings and brought the customers back.
In 1989 the State of South Dakota approved the City of Deadwood for a gaming license bringing the economy back to life.
The second and third floors are still unused although the real reason has now been uncovered. They contain a population of ghosts who seem to want to keep it them to themselves.
The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab and the Dead Files have all done episodes here.
Ghost Tours are available.
The dark history of this property has left massive amounts of negative energy and more than a few ghosts.
Margaret Broadwater is the hotel’s most well known ghost. She was a prostitute who after nearly drinking herself to death committed suicide by throwing herself from a window on the third floor. Her reason for doing so is unknown: she could have been pregnant or love with a client or just depressed beyond reason from her nightmare life.
Margaret now wanders the building apparently still trapped in the nightmare that forced her to end her own life. She often announces her presence by opening or closing doors while she cannot be seen. Her apparition – when she chooses to show herself - is most often seen on the first floor but that is surely due to being the floor that has the most living people on it.
A very angry and territorial male ghost – who accidentally took his own life – lays claim to the third floor. He is thought to be a fully mature dark entity who would like to find a way to harm the living. The hotel’s owner had has his tools thrown when he tried to start restorations on the third floor.
The owner has been given a method to get rid of this man, so it is possible that he has succeeded in that goal.
Jack McCall; the man who shot Wild Bill Hickok in the back of the head in Saloon #10 – the building next door -; also haunts the hotel. He was convicted of the murder and then suffered through a botched hanging. It is thought that he haunts The Fairmont as it brought happiness to him in life.
The apparition of Jack is seen throughout the building. He is also thought responsible when people feel something unseen brush by them in the hotel as well as women feeling something unseen brushing through their hair. Jack likes hanging out in bar with people drinking and having a good time reliving his own fun while he was alive no doubt.
The ghost of a little boy is also seen in the building running around and playing.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained noises; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen presences; cold spots; empathic sensations of anger and anxiety (on the third floor); objects moving on their own and feelings of not being and being watched.
By Kbh3rd - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5730733
Supernatural and spiritual stories and legends in this area date to prehistory. Many believe it to contains a gateway to the underworld.
Which has been twisted to mean a Gateway to Hell in modern times.
The flat mesa does contain large amounts of lodestone – highly magnetic - which will play havoc with everyone’s compass who comes too close making it very easy to get disorientated and lost.
There is also the shape of a skull – which is even visible on topographical maps – at it’s topmost area making it somewhat unnerving at the very least.
Its also the point most hit by lightning in the entire State making it dangerous, if not downright lethal, during a storm.
The people who repeatedly camp in the area and the staff of the camp will tell you the ghost stories and legends are nothing more than tall tales at best. Easily dismissed until you realize that there is no camping on the mesa – except under extreme circumstances – and no one ever wanders it after dark.
Urraca means magpie in Spanish. Magpies are members of the crow family and known for being extremely tricky and mischievous as well as – like many members of the crow family – able to ferry the dead both to and from the underworld.
Legend says there was a great battle on mesa between good and evil. While good won they only sealed the evil behind a portal in the western eye of skull shape located at the topmost point of the mesa. Cat totems can be found in the area protecting the portal; totems said to have been left by the shaman who sealed the portal.
Cats vs magpies has a certain sense of logic to it.
Legend says should all the cat totems be removed or destroyed the gateway will rip open and the evil behind it will escape. Of the original 6 totems only 2 remain.
It is believed that the entire tribe took place in the battle and those few who survived left the area forever. It is historically true that the Pueblo peoples lived here for a millennium and then suddenly disappeared almost over night.
Sensitive individuals, dating back to the aboriginal populations who lived here long before the Spanish, British or American colonizers, claim to feel the presence of dark entities and other evil spirits here but cannot say exactly where they are.
This area was also used as a rest stop for cowboys moving herds of cattle. There are numerous stories of the apparitions of cowboys in the area. They neither interact with nor approach the living but usually stand at a distance seemingly observing.
Many people say wild animals will approach and follow humans for far longer and far more intensely than would be normal.
The apparition of a ghostly boy scout is seen and thought to be a scout who went missing in the area. His body has never been found.
Other Reported Activity: apparitions and shadow figures; unexplained breezes moving against the wind; disembodied whispers; light anomalies including flashing lights and feelings of being watched, followed and stalked.
This hotel was founded in 1800 and was located near the famous Bozeman Trail.
It quickly became one of the best and well known hotels in the State. It’s famous guests from the Old West period include Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Frank Canton and even Teddy Roosevelt.
Eventually the hotel was expanded and by the 20th century it was attracting guests from all over the world.
The Great Depression of the 1930’s began the hotels downfall as everyone’s money become to dry up. By the 1980’s the hotel had become run down and seemed to be destined for nothing more than the wrecking ball.
In 1997 Dawn Dawson bought the hotel and changed it’s fate. Over 10 years she not only restored it but got the hotel placed on the National Historical Register.
David and Jackie Stewart – who became managing partners in 2008 – took over ownership of the hotel in 2015 and remain so.
Today to step inside the hotel is to the Old West; even the bullet holes in the saloon are left from that time. All the suites and rooms are decorated in period style and filled with antiques.
Modern amenities are also included like free wifi, AC and private baths.
This hotel tops many lists as the most haunted hotel and place in the State.
The hotel hosted ghost tours pre-Covid; hopefully they will return again soon.
While historians argue over whether the hotel was ever used as bordello there is a Bordello Suite in the modern hotel. The building’s most famous ghost, Emily, is said to have been daughter of one of the ladies of the night and keeps her haunting close to this room.
The room she is said to have passed away is now used a break room and is a small room right next to the Bordello Room.
Emily is a young girl said to have died of cholera in the early 20th century. She said to be painfully thin with long dark hair and wearing a white gown.
Emily is a mischievous ghost who likes to play with the guests. She is known for tapping you on the shoulder or pulling on your shirt. She also likes to appear at the foot of beds in rooms near the Bordello Suite.
She will also move furniture around in your room.
Teddy Roosevelt has been seen in the upstairs library.
The apparitions of cowboys have also been seen in the public spaces of the hotel.
Other Reported Activity: shadow figures; cold spots; disembodied voices; unexplained noises and feelings of not being alone.
Reader Discretion is Advised
This article contains child abuse and murder as well as spousal abuse.
Built in 1856 this brownstone started off alright before earning it’s reputation and foreboding name.
In the 1880’s the house was owned by the widow of the founder of Metropolitan and Broadway’s Underground Railways.
In 1897 the house brought it’s first, of many, bouts of bad luck to one of it’s owners. Cycling celebrity Fred H Andrew (who was the new owner of the house) was apparently engaging in “reckless cycling” and hit an 8 year old boy on the street.
The boy suffered a broken leg and Andrew was jailed. Considering what the house is said to be responsible later these two may have been the luckiest of it’s long list of victims.
The next owner was not other than the acclaimed author Mark Twain who suffered both financial difficulties – near bankruptcy – as well as emotional issues – depression – but also wrote some of his best stories while living in the house.
Mr Twain is also the first – despite being an ardent non-believer – person to have a paranormal episode in the house. He watched a log of wood float across a room; which he blamed on rats; and – as any normal person would do – he shot it. The wood landed on the floor with a few drops of blood he maintained came from the aforementioned rat.
In 1937 the house was converted into 10 separate apartments.
In 1957 Jan Bryant Bartell and her daughter moved into the apartment on the top floor where the servants used to live. They suffered extreme paranormal experiences and Jan wrote and published a book in 1974 called Spindrift: Spray From A Psychic Sea.
The book records 9 deaths beginning with her dog and ending with them moving out of the house. Shortly after she published the book Jan, herself, died making some people believe whatever is in the house followed her making her it’s 10th victim.
Jan also suffered from depression and there were rumors of suicide attempts; or so the skeptics say.
At 6:40 am on November 2, 1987 911 got a call from the house from the house’s owner – Hedda Nussbaum a children’s book author – saying that her daughter, Lisa, was not breathing.
The first responders entered the house to the scene of a nightmare.
6 year old Lisa was naked and unresponsive on the floor while her brother was tied to a playpen sitting in his own urine. Hedda was covered in bruises and had multiple bones. They were also large amounts of illegal drugs and paraphernalia in the house.
Lisa could not be saved, and it was later determined she was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.
Both Hedda and her husband, Joel Steinburg, were charged with 1st degree murder. Hedda avoided charges by giving testimony indicated Joel had come home in a cocaine fueled fury and attacked both Hedda and Lisa.
Steinburg was sent to prison for second degree manslaughter; he was released in 2004.
Today, the house is still a private residence but there are continuing stories of paranormal activity in both it as well as in some of the neighboring houses now.
There are rumored to be at least 22 ghosts of former residents including the famous non-believer himself; Mark Twain. Although he uses his real name – Samuel Clemens – rather than his pen name.
Mr Twain is generally clad in a white linen suit and has repeatedly communicated with the living. Before you ask, no he did not die in the house – and only lived there for 1 year in 1900-1901 – however his ghost has been confirmed both here and no 12 as well as this house.
Clemens has been seen throughout the house by these days he is only seen on the first floor and on the staircase to the basement.
Ms Bartell (see above) recorded the following activity: a large monstrously shaped shadow the followed her and moved about the apartment; a chilly damp mist that would numb the fingertips to touch and smelled sweet; rotten food the family had not purchased would appear on the dining room table; the apparition of a man in the hallway; other unexplained phantom smells including a very bitter one and the family pets would become suddenly very aggressive toward entities that could not been seen.
Both in the “House of Death” and in neighboring houses the apparition of a woman in a long gown has been seen floating over the floor and has been reported move through doors. Flickering lights and feelings of not being alone are also frequently reported.
In 1889 a half block area of Meridian was put under construction by Israel Marks and his three half brothers.
Originally, it was designed to be a department store and a hotel. Shortly after construction began the plans for the hotel were changed to the creation of grand opera house; at the time the price for high end show was about the same as a one night stay in a hotel.
The opera house opened in 1890 booking the best of New York City shows.
In 1902 electricity was added to the building.
In 1920 it was converted into 2 movie theaters with projectors set up in the center of the building.
In 1923 it was leased to a film company for a period of 25 years. The film company soon attempted to turn the theater into an office building but were prevented from doing so by clause in the lease saying the building could never be used as anything but a theater.
This resulted in a law suit when the film company refused to pay their rent which the owners won. Unfortunately, the Great Depression began at the same time resulting in the renting company declaring bankruptcy. This chain of events left the opera house with no money and no option but to be closed.
In the 1960’s the building was covered in metal siding in an attempt to modernize it. In most people’s opinions all this dead was remove the all the 19th century historical significance.
In 2000 numerous grants came together resulting in nearly $25 million for a complete restoration under the stipulation that the University of Mississippi take over care and operation of the building.
The former department store – which operated until the 1990’s – was converted into a conference center.
The original opera center includes both a 900 seat main theater and a 200 seat satellite theater.
The theater is haunted by “The Lady” or possibly “The Ladies”.
Either way the identity of her – or them – is not known but she is definitely benevolent and seems to be happy to coexist with the living.
The most common way she makes her presence known is with cold spots which are commonly reported in the building.
Many people have reported an etheric feeling of her presence and – more rarely – feel a tap on their left shoulder by an unseen presence.
When the theater is empty and completely silent people have heard the voice of a woman singing.